Aren't Things Supposed to Get Better From Here?
Chapter Six: Those Sort of Things.
I would love to say that I rushed into that office and demanded why the hell this ghost from our past had decided to turn up now of all times. Wasn't it slightly suspicious that after all these years the ever so beautiful and perfect Cho Chang had returned from nonexistence?
But of course I didn't. After all, I was Hermione, and if Hermione Granger was anything at all, she was logical and thought things over rationally. That wasn't to say that white hot anxiety didn't pulse through my veins because at that very moment I felt as if I could faint with my head spinning in so many directions.
My mind was pulling and prodding with so many different theories. Had she and Harry kept in contact all this time? Had Harry been secretly meeting her behind my back? Did Harry still have any inkling of his old feelings for her? It was this last question that caused my heart to tremor in fear.
I could still recall Harry's infatuation with Cho back in fourth year. I could remember the way his eyes would light up whenever she walked in the room, the way his cheeks would flush: a bright red beacon of his affection. If it hadn't been for Cedric Diggory's death those two would have been together faster than you could say 'Irish wristwatch'.
No, I thought to myself, I will not doubt the relationship that Harry and I have. There has to be a perfectly logical explanation.
I didn't even have enough time to gather my wits about me before entering because a second later his emerald green eyes met mind, shock resonating behind them.
"Hermione?" I could hear him clearly through the glass, as if he were standing right in front of me. I gave him a brief, shaky smile before reaching out towards the shiny, polished handle and entering the small office, which only appeared smaller now that three people occupied the confined space.
Cho seemed rather surprised as well to see little old me standing here in Harry's office. What? He hadn't told her about…us? Not a surprise really. Harry was never one to make a person feel uncomfortable, and telling an ex about his new fiancée would probably have ruined whatever catch-up-session they had been having moments before.
"Hi Harry," I murmured almost bashfully, my hands clutching the straps of my purse tightly since I didn't know what else to do with them.
"You…you remember Cho, right? Cho Chang?" He asked awkwardly, if he had been standing I could imagine him shifting from one foot to the other, ready to run at moment's notice.
"Yes. I do," I nodded, giving the woman a brief smile. "Hello Cho, it's been…a while."
"Hello Hermione," Cho smiled, it was the sort of smile women were envious of. It had the potential to light up a room and make men bend to her will. I wanted one of those smiles, but clearly everyone wasn't as blessed. Eying her shiny black hair and cute, pert nose I wondered if anyone could even possibly be as blessed as Cho and her lithe build.
"I didn't know that you were an auror," I commented casually, or, at least I hoped it came out that way. My hands were trembling now as I glanced from Harry to Cho, both shifting uncomfortably under my gaze.
"Cho transferred to this department a few weeks ago," Harry admitted. "I am her mentor. I never actually got around to telling you with everything that's been going on lately."
Mentor? So Harry had been in close contact with her for 'a few weeks' but had failed to mention it? I knew we were both busy, with our jobs and what not (clearly he had been far busier than I was) but how hard would it have been to casually mention over dinner, or passing each other on our way to the bathroom, 'oh, just so you know, I happen to be working with Cho. You know, that ridiculously hot oriental girl I used to date somewhat in fifth year?'
At least then I would have been slightly better prepared for the sight that lay before me. At least I wouldn't have felt like I had been hit full-force by a truck.
"Oh," I finally replied after a few minutes. That was all I could say. 'Oh'. My mind wasn't really at its best processing stage at the moment. "Oh."
Harry coughed uncomfortably, trying to break the tense silence but it was a wasted effort. There was no way I was going to feel any more comfortable here than what I felt currently. It wasn't like Cho and I were just going to become best friends, gossiping over a cup of tea and swapping funny stories about Harry.
Those sorts of things just didn't happen. Ever.
"It's sweet how you two are still friends after all these years," Cho said at last. My eyebrows raised it shock. Friends? She thought that we were still friends.
"Yeah," I trailed off, not knowing exactly how to reply to that statement. Was there any particular reason that Harry hadn't told her about our relationship? It better have been a hell of a good one too.
"So, what are you doing here Hermione?" He asked, causing me to frown in annoyance. Was he trying to get rid of me? For a second I froze, completely forgetting why I had come here in the first place but as I glanced at the small posters of injured-but-brave Aurors around me I remembered at once.
"I just came to tell you about my promotion," I mumbled reluctantly. This wasn't exactly something I would have liked to share with an audience, but he had asked. "Holgun's stepping down in June and offered me his position."
I shrugged, trying to make it seem as if it was no big deal but disappointment churned in my stomach. This wasn't the way I had planned it out in my head at all, but sometimes reality really did suck.
"Well that's, great," He replied awkwardly and I stifled a sigh. Clearly this was going to go no where with Cho here and clearly she wasn't getting the hints about leaving so I would instead.
"Well I'd better go," I muttered. "Work and all that, sorry for interrupting."
"No!" Harry exclaimed, flushing when Cho eyed him questioningly. "I mean, I'll walk you t-to the elevator."
I scowled at him, an indication that I'd rather be alone at that very moment but he ignored me before gathering up my bag from my hands and pushing me through his office door. Once we were safely outside he turned to me with an apologetic expression on his face.
"Listen Hermione I—"
"Save it Harry," I mumbled. "We'll talk about it when you get home."
"When you get home!"
I pried my bag from between his fingers before stalking towards the elevators. I was an extremely pissed, hormonal woman, and I wasn't going to wait around for him.
A/n My God! It's really been forever, hasn't it? Thank you to all the people who actually stuck it out and waited practically years for this chapter! I'll try to post another one tonight, and maybe one next week, but I've GOT to finish this!